Kathleen Papa speaks about Gary's legacy living on

Thursday, June 15, 2017
Kathleen Papa speaks about Gary's legacy living on
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Kathleen Papa speaks about Gary's legacy living on. Ali Gorman reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on June 15, 2017.

The Gary Papa Run is this Sunday. It aims to raise awareness and money for research to fight prostate cancer.

Health reporter and registered nurse Ali Gorman talked to Gary's wife about what the run means to her and her family.

Ali met up with Kathleen Papa, her son Tucker and their dog, Hobart.

It's been 8 years since her husband, our friend, Gary Papa died from an aggressive form of prostate cancer.

Tucker was 8, his brother Nathaniel was 10.

They're now 16 and 19. Nathaniel just graduated high school.

Kathleen says they're happy and healthy.

"But really Ali, this is where my grief still lives, it's when I think of the kids. To be a teenage boy and have Gary as your father would have been outrageous, it would have been one adventure after another," she said.

But she says even on the tough days, she's grateful for the time they did have together

Kathleen and Gary met on a blind date, set up by Rob Jennings.

"Gary proposed to me four months after we met, laughs, he was impulsive," said Kathleen.

She says years later, the phone call relaying his diagnosis and poor prognosis was devastating.

It's why she encourages all men to talk about health issues and get screened for prostate cancer.

"Tomorrow isn't promised to everyone. Cancer doesn't discriminate," Kathleen said.

It's also why Gary spent so many mornings on Father's Day at the race, raising awareness. His legacy now lives on.

"If he could prevent one family from having to receive that phone call, he would've been happy," added Kathleen.


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